Specialty Drugs

The term “specialty drug” applies to:

  • Self-administered injectable medications (non-diabetes)
  • Medications that require special handling, special administration, or monitoring, and
  • High-cost oral medications.

Covered specialty drugs are listed on the University of Michigan Prescription Drug Plan Specialty Drug List (PDF), updated July 2015.  The list includes select medications used to treat a variety of clinical conditions and is subject to change.

Filling a Specialty Drug Prescription

Contact UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services when you have received a prescription for a specialty medication.

  • Members may walk-in and pick up their specialty medication prescriptions during business hours.
  • UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services will also arrange shipping of specialty prescription drugs and supplies directly to a patient’s U.S. address with no shipping fees.  
  • UMHS Specialty Pharmacy may make arrangements for additional handling for prescriptions outside the State of Michigan or where manufacturers limit distribution to certain pharmacies.

Important Notes

Registration Required

Please note that you must be registered with the UMHS Specialty Pharmacy before your physician can call, fax, or electronically prescribe a new specialty medication prescription.  Register by calling the Specialty Pharmacy at the number below.    

Supply Limits

Specialty drugs are limited to 34 days per fill, except for immunosuppressive drugs, which are covered for up to 90 days per fill.

Exceptions

Some specialty drugs are restricted by the manufacturer to be filled at certain pharmacies (“limited distribution drugs”). Please contact the UMHS Specialty Pharmacy for more information.

UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services Contact Information

U-M Health System Specialty Pharmacy Services – Main Location
4260 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Hours:
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Saturday

(855) 276-3002 (toll free)
(866) 261-0791 (toll free) – if using TTY
(734) 232-3408 fax

Website

Additional Locations:

Taubman Center Pharmacy
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Hours:
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Saturday

(734) 936-8260

Cancer Center Pharmacy
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Hours:
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Monday – Friday

(734) 647-8911

Frequently Asked Questions About Specialty Drugs

Which types of drugs are included in the specialty drug program?

The specialty drug list covers several categories of drugs, including oral and self-injectable cancer drugs; anticoagulant, hematopoietic, and immunosuppressive drugs; growth hormones; drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cystic fibrosis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary hypertension; some infertility medications; and other oral and self-injectable (non-diabetes) drugs for varying conditions.

Do specialty drugs require prior authorization?

Any specialty medications that require prior authorization (PA) are noted on the specialty drug list next to the drug name. Your physician must call MedImpact Member Service at (800) 681-9578 to obtain prior authorization on your behalf when required.

How much specialty drug medication can I get filled each time?

Specialty drugs are limited to 34 days per fill, except for immunosuppressive drugs, which are covered for up to 90 days per fill.  You can check the specialty drug list or call MedImpact Member Service at (800) 681-9578 for specific information on supply limits for your medication. Plan participants using a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY) may dial 711.

Where can my specialty drug prescription be filled?

Contact UMHS Specialty Pharmacy when you get a prescription for a specialty drug. Specialty medications may be shipped directly to a patient’s U.S. address with no shipping fees, or members can walk-in and pick up their specialty medication prescriptions at the pharmacy.  Exceptions include some infertility medications and/or specialty drugs that are restricted by the manufacturer to be filled at certain pharmacies (“limited distribution drugs”). Please see the specialty drug list for more information.

Why does UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services have to handle my specialty drug prescription?

Specialty drugs represent less than 2% of all medications used by our plan members, but more than 30% of the total plan cost.  The average cost for specialty drugs is over $2,500 per month per prescription, and growing.  Using a designated specialty pharmacy helps the plan better support members and manage costs. The U-M Health System receives special price discounts that can help the university keep health care costs affordable.

What if my physician is not part of the U-M Health System?

Your physician does not need to be located at a U-M Health System facility for you to use UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services, and you do not need to change your physician to receive your specialty medications. UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services will provide specialty medication services to members regardless of where your physician is located.

What patient services does UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services provide?

UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services will handle the filling of your specialty drug prescription either in person or by mail with no shipping costs (for U.S. addresses).  They also provide a range of programs and patient support services, including:

  • Pharmacist telephone support
  • Coordination of refills to help manage medication schedules
  • Financial counseling and support (e.g. copay discount cards, PA approvals)
  • Clinical support for improved disease state and drug therapy management for complex health conditions.
How will UMHS Specialty Pharmacy Services use my personal information?

Please be assured that your privacy is protected. If your current physician is outside of the U-M Health System, your personal information is stored in the pharmacy only, and is not part of the hospital patient record system.  Your protected health information will not be shared with anyone outside your physician’s office without your permission.